No time to browse, buy, wrap, and arrange special delivery for a loved one this year? Maybe you’re looking for a meaningful gift that’s simple to give but far more exciting and touching to receive than a piece of plastic with a dollar amount scrawled on the back. That’s where the latest offerings in virtual gifting come in. Gone are the days of simply heading to GiftCards.com and calling it a day. At this point, a nearly endless array of digitally powered gifting options and platforms await your ingenious present-giving skills with just a few clicks. Below, 20 unique subscription services and virtual gifts for every kind of giftee—from bookworms to booze enthusiasts.
1. Literati Book Clubs
Got bookworms on your holiday shopping list? Gift them a Literati membership, which delivers a hand-selected title by the book club leader of their (or your) choice, ranging from Stephen Curry and Roxanne Gay to Richard Branson and Cheryl Strayed. They’ll also get a reading guide and a note from the curator, plus access to the Literati app for discussion with other members, the book club’s leader, and author in addition to special programming. Users can also change between “clubs” each month. Kids’ subscriptions are also available.
[$75 for 3 months; $150 for 6 months; $240 per year; literati.com]
2. iFIT Subscription/iFIT Mind Subscription
Combine adrenaline-infused thrills with enhancing personal fitness with this first-rate training platform connecting iFIT subscribers with trainers around the globe—via treadmill, bike, elliptical, yoga mat, or living room floor. Thousands of workouts are available, both on and off machines, including cardio, HIIT, strength training, meditation, and more. There’s no need to do the same workout twice—although returning to Jamaica for a Pilates class or Barcelona for another bike ride may be tempting enough.
[$180 per year; ifit.com]
3. Northwest Cider Club Discover Cider Club
Craft cider is pretty fantastic—especially when unexpectedly received during the holiday season. The best apples-to-apples cider subscription out there is a membership to the Northwest Cider Association’s quarterly, curated, hard-to-find ciders from the Northwest (WA, OR, ID, MT, BC). Each seasonal box is themed, and all six bottles or cans that are included are selected by professional “Pommeliers” and accompanied by tasting notes, cheese pairing ideas, and a map of Northwest cidermakers.
[from $50 per quarter; nwciderclub.com]
4. YesChef Subscription
Is your close buddy a cooking genius—or does he just think he is? Slyly improve his craft with an annual or lifetime subscription to this online education platform that provides Food Network-worthy cooking classes with celebrated chefs like Erez Komarovsky, Nancy Silverton, and other culinary stars. The course that totally sold us: Chef Edward Lee’s 13-class “From Buttermilk to Bourbon.”
[Annual All-Access Pass for $120, Lifetime Pass for $360; yeschef.me]
5. StubHub Gift Card
Who’s not excited to get back out there and catch a ball game or a concert? Time to toast the much-awaited return to college bowls, arenas, comedy clubs, and theaters with an all-purpose, live entertainment StubHub gift card. The company also handles bulk order options if you’re treating, say, an office full of concert-starved employees.
[from $25 to $1,000; stubhub.com]
Drizly is our go-to wine, beer, and liquor concierge when gifting boozy delights from afar. Select a bottle or two for your pal or family member, and a local retailer will get your selection to their door in 60 minutes or less. To order, simply enter an address, shop the virtual retailer shelves in their area and make your purchase. Drizly will then email the recipient to schedule a convenient delivery time. If anyone cares to know, we’ve got our eyes on Dewar’s 12-year blended scotch whisky and Espolòn Tequila Blanco.
[prices vary; drizly.com]
7. Daily Harvest Custom Gift Box
Hazelnut and chocolate snack bites. Portobello and pesto flatbread. Pistachio and hazelnut crunch cashew “scoops” (plant-based ice cream with a cashew milk base). Daily Harvest knows how to assemble an exciting customized gift box. Better yet, they let you do the curating from an assortment of nine items from their line of plant-based eats centering on organic fruits and veggies. Gift cards and a dessert gift box of their “Scoops” ice cream are available too.
8. Taelor Menswear Rental Gift Card
Any dapper dude will be right into this men’s clothing rental subscription service. Upon sign-up, he’ll fill out a style questionnaire and then partake in a personal consultation with one of Taelor’s stylists before receiving a box of shirts selected by the fashion wizards for two weeks. Dry cleaning and shipping is free both ways, and if he loves what he gets, he can purchase whatever he’d like to keep for up to 70% off the regular retail price. Save 15% on gift certificates worth $60, $100 or $150 with the code HOLIDAYGIFT.
[gift cards available in $60, $100, and $150 denominations; taelor.style]
Stumped by what to buy your brother, college roommate, or some other hard-to-get-for person? With a gift card to this educational platform led by local artisans and small biz owners, recipients can sign up for virtual experiences ranging from beer tasting with trivia to making wood wick candles. Whatever he’s secretly yearning to learn, these fun, firsthand experiences are streamed straight to his screen.
[From $175; classbento.com]
10. Future Membership
Future makes one-on-one, remote personal training fun and approachable. Most importantly, it will keep your workout-loathing spouse or best friend motivated with weekly training sessions tailored to their goals, schedule, environment, and more. Coaches are on-call and available to respond to questions in real-time via text, and they check in regularly to help keep clients on track. No cheating here, folks. Future sends recipients an Apple Watch, so coaches can track progress by monitoring biometrics such as heart rate, rep counts and cardio distances. Sign up by choosing a coach based on expertise and goals before virtually meeting up to hammer out training specifics.
[From $149 per month to $1,425 per year; future.co]
11. Uncommon Experiences
Uncommon Goods recently launched a slew of virtual experiences, and the epicurean offerings are best in class for the discerning gourmand. Our current top picks are DIY Pretzels and Beer Cheese ($45), Home Bar Hero: Mixology Class & Simple Syrups ($55), and DIY Hot Sauce Class & Heirloom Chili Peppers ($75) , but browsing all the offerings here is half the fun. Yes, tarot reading ($50) is offered too.
[From $25; uncommongoods.com]
12. Goldbelly Subscriptions
This holiday season, up the epicurean ante with a food delivery subscription from this popular gourmet eats site. Options run the gamut from pizza and barbecue to cake and curated delectables out of culinary meccas like New York, Chicago and New Orleans. Our vote is the Best of Goldbelly Monthly Subscription ($89) for a diverse array of noshing nirvana. For another fun gift idea, consider gifting Goldbelly LIVE, featuring the company’s series of interactive cook-alongs.
[from $45 per month; goldbelly.com]
13. Ten Percent Happier Annual Subscription
For anyone dabbling with the idea of a meditation practice who can’t quite sit down to do it, a Ten Percent Happier subscription can provide just the right app-based mindful motivation. A plethora of courses led by top meditation teachers are designed to combat stress and offer the numerous health benefits of steady practice. In fact, make it two subscriptions. Heck, we’d take five percent happier.
[4 months for $50 or one year for $100; app.tenpercent.com]
Think of this service as a personal podcast production studio. Whether you’re surprising your girlfriend with a memento of your love story or giving your boss a keepsake before retirement, Artifact will create a beautifully produced podcast comprised of interviews with friends and family members and deliver a studio-quality podcast about anything under the sun.
[From $199; heyartifact.com]
15. Togu Knives Six-Month Gift Subscription
Surprise the chef in your life with a Togu Knives’ subscription service that provides members with two sturdy and sharp knives, a Santoku chef’s knife and a paring knife—replacing them every two months with a freshly sharpened set. Ghe recipient drops the old knives in the box that the new ones arrived in and places the pre-paid package in a mailbox. Upon purchase, you’ll receive an emailed code to deliver your gift digitally, and your recipient will get a gift box with their own sign-up code.
[$129 for six-month gift subscription; toguknives.com]
16. Acorn TV One-Year Subscription
You can bank on most folks having Netflix. Dazzle them with a membership to Acorn—and they’ll have a hard time peeling themselves off the British and International television platform. Countless hours of mysteries, dramas, and comedies, plus standout hits like the new adaptation of Dalgliesh are all in the mix. Did we mention 22 seasons of Midsomer Murders and the must-see Australian crime drama Jack Irish?
[$60 a year; acorn.tv]
17. GiftCast Gift Card
Before you send that routine gift card, opt for this neat app that lets you deliver money gifts or Amazon bucks with a video message for your loved one to view upon receipt. If you forget someone’s birthday, this makes a great last-minute gift for that occasion too.
[from $5; giftcast.me]
18. Vous Vitamin Gift Card
Any health enthusiast will appreciate a gift card for this personal vitamin subscription. The service packages your recommended nutrients into one caplet that you take twice daily instead of cumbersome vitamin packs with multiple pills. After your purchase, the recipient will receive an emailed gift message along with a quick online survey to create the ideal multivitamin designed for their individual needs.
[from $90 for 3-month subscription; vousvitamin.com]
19. Game & Grub Choice eGift Card
Sometimes a guy just wants to play video games and eat pizza. Help him satisfy both cravings with this gift card designed to let him buy new video games and gaming accessories paired with takeout from Domino’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, or GrubHub. ‘Nuff said.
[$25 to $500; giftcards.com]
20. HomeExchange One-Year Subscription
Who isn’t sick of staring at their own four walls? This annual subscription gift opens that special someone to the wonderful world of home exchange—providing access to the ingenious service’s 450,000-plus homes across 159 countries. To learn more about how the home-swapping platform works, read our article here..
[$150; one-year membership and unlimited exchanges; homeexchange.com]
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